From December 20 to 23, 2023, the Indian Navy (IN) and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) successfully conducted their inaugural Bilateral Maritime Exercise. The event witnessed the active participation of India’s indigenously built naval ships Kulish and IN LCU 56, while the Royal Thai Navy was represented by His Thai Majesty’s Ship (HTMS) Prachuap Khiri Khan. Simultaneously, the 36th edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) took place alongside the maiden bilateral exercise, featuring Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both naval forces during the Sea Phase.
The initiation of this Bilateral Exercise marks a significant stride towards fortifying operational synergy and gradually escalating the complexity of joint exercises between the two navies. Throughout the inaugural edition, naval units from both nations engaged in diverse activities, including surface and anti-air exercises, weapon firing, seamanship evolutions, and tactical maneuvers.
Aligned with the Government of India’s SAGAR vision (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been actively collaborating with nations in the Indian Ocean Region to enhance regional maritime security. The enduring and amicable relationship between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy has strengthened over the years. The maiden IN-RTN Bilateral Exercise, combined with Indo-Thai CORPAT, stands as a testament to the growing bilateral ties between these maritime neighbors and has significantly improved interoperability between their naval forces.
Dubbed as ‘Ex-Ayutthaya,’ the Indo-Thai Bilateral Exercise derives its name from the historical significance of Ayodhya in India and Ayutthaya in Thailand. The term ‘Ayutthaya’ translates to ‘The Invincible One’ or ‘Undefeatable,’ symbolizing the profound historical legacies, rich cultural ties, and shared narratives dating back several centuries between the two nations.